What to DO to GET Referrals
Prism: Respect
Conversation lead by: the 30305-Buckhead Team

and Leadership requires tactfulness. People want to be told the hard things. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” is a common question.

When you need to have a hard conversation, how do you set it up so the client feels you cared enough about them to tell them, and allow them to feel your respect for them?

Add your answer in comments, here or from the home

11 Responses to Respect
  1. Minerva Steele
    November 13, 2020 | 9:26 am

    As a personal injury lawyer, it is important that whatever news I deliver is timely. So the first thing I do is make sure I notify clients right away if there is bad news. Letting bad news linger usually only makes things worse. Next, I make sure that I hit the problem head-on. “I’m sorry Mr. Client, but I have some bad news about your case …” Trying to be subtle or indirect only confuses the issue. Finally, I make sure that the news is delivered in a compassionate way. Bad news in my field usually impacts clients in a very personal way, so I deliver the news with understanding and tact. Clients are always grateful that you were direct with them and appreciate a lawyer that shows compassion.

  2. Darrell Rodgers
    November 13, 2020 | 9:35 am

    For bad news to be well received, it has to come with analysis and options. If I have to deliver tough news, I also deliver the work I’ve done to determine how and why it affects us (after all we’re in this together) and a range of options to abate the issue as much as possible for them to consider.

    This helps them quickly get past the “why me” phase and into the “ok, let’s address this” mindset.

  3. Jay Shaw
    November 13, 2020 | 10:49 am

    As an insurance agent, hard conversations are easier to have because I’ve cultivated relationships with my clients over time. We’ve built a mutual respect for each other, and they trust my judgement. I would never email a client to deliver bad news because that is disingenuous. Phone calls or home visits are much more effective. My client can see on my face and hear in my voice the empathy that I carry for their situation. As soon as I get the bad news, I reach out to them immediately. I treat people the way I would want to be treated. Timing is key, and people respect you more when you can be honest and upfront with them.

  4. Norm Hatke
    November 13, 2020 | 1:36 pm

    My favorite business motto has always been: Just Do It! I also like the old expressions. In this case, Honesty is the Best Policy. Existing clients, friends, neighbors and family already know you, like you, and trust you. For new clients or prospects, Just Do it, and Be Honest. Choose your words carefully, don’t be confrontational, don’t delay, say it, then listen.

  5. Zach Bolstad
    November 18, 2020 | 9:39 am

    Most bad news I’ve had to give is timeline/deadline related. And there are two good policies to handle/avoid those situations: One, you do need to tell them there may be a delay as soon as possible, but also have a solution and options ready to soften the blow. And two, under-promise and over-deliver to avoid getting into those scenarios. It is always better to exceed expectations than to set unattainable goals to initially impress the client.

  6. Victor Nassar
    November 18, 2020 | 9:50 am

    I start the conversation with a review of the agreed upon goals and objectives of what we are doing. For Example, “if we are going to close your loan in time, it’s best to get me everything within a two day timeframe of my request. This way we can close your loan in time and it won’t cost you any extra money”. I find focusing on the end result helps the bad news or tough things get communicated easier.

  7. Nicole Theodore
    November 18, 2020 | 1:55 pm

    No one wants to hear bad news from their attorney. In order to mitigate as best I can I like to follow three rules: (1) Earlier is better. The earlier you can deliver the news it’s better to get it over with and allow time to process. (2) If it’s my (or my office’s) fault, take responsibility. No one likes people who play the blame game.(3) Have a remedial plan in place before delivering the news. Clients like to see that not only are you aware of the situation, but you’re doing your best to address it.

  8. Kevin Gregory
    November 18, 2020 | 5:31 pm

    It seems that half of our projects usually have an unforeseen obstacle that rears its ugly self.
    Already gaining trust and confidence in me as your contractor is extremely helpful when these situations arrive.
    Knowing the angles of all phases of construction gives me an edge when running into these situations.
    Leaving my client assured that their home is in good hands for an extremely fair price.
    Sadly people tend to over charge in these times and throws your budget way over.
    Be fair , compassionate and it’ll almost always pay off in the long run one way or another.

  9. Matthew
    November 19, 2020 | 9:35 am

    For me, difficult conversations or bad news needs to travel fast, and over the phone. I view that as fundamental. The way you deliver it may be different with each situation, but should include empathy and always having a solution or set of alternatives to move forward with.

  10. Ralph Taylor, II
    November 19, 2020 | 10:49 am

    When I need to have a hard conversation, I believe there are 3 important things that need to happen; all with empathy for the client. First, being prompt in delivering the news. Second, explain exactly what happened and how it impacts them. Third, give them the solution to the bad news and explain how it will better the situation.

  11. Saurel Quettan
    November 21, 2020 | 1:28 am

    My hard and fast rule for having hard conversation is to be straight, direct and sensitive.
    – Sugarcoating is disrespectful and condescending.
    – When the bad news is a direct result of my actions, or failure to act, I take full responsibility and account for the impact on my clients.
    – Repair the damage myself, or assist as needed to make my client whole.
    – Create an empowering future and a plan to get there.

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